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Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Finger Pattern Playing Cards Are Here!

Finger Pattern Playing Cards:
Go Fish, Memory and other great games!

Two of six instruction cards included in the deck of Finger Pattern Playing Cards

I would like to start by saying thank you to all of you that have read and subscribed to my blog. You may remember that I stared it about two years ago after seeing the benefits of firing away in my students and two-year-old son. Since that time, I have had the pleasure of continuing to work with students, my children, parents, and teachers. I am more convinced than ever that early math is an important as early reading! I believe this so strongly that I recently started, ArithmaKids™, a company to help spread the word. I have two simple products that I have been testing over the past few months. I will blog about them over the next few weeks. Hopefully you will check out and find them useful.

Turn Over 10 (with a little help)

Turn Over 5

Monday, April 5, 2010

Fire and Write

Fire and Write: Fun with Chalk

Looking for a fun way to work with your child on writing their numbers? Get some sidewalk chalk and have fun with this great activity. Sidewalk chalk is a fun tool for writing numbers while having fun with different colors and writing surfaces.

Many young children write numbers backward, upside down or with the incorrect technique. Getting down at their level and writing numbers with them helps them learn how to make numbers and you to see what numbers are hard for them. A good example is when my son was making his six starting at the bottom and ending at the top. I showed him how to make a six correctly and then he practiced making six in different colors and sizes. Then I asked him to circle his favorite six, which he really enjoys -circling his "best" number. We started with one to ten and next we will work up to the teen’s family.

Making eight on his own and practice with eight

Game: Fire and Write

1. Flash a finger pattern to your child.

2. Have them write the corresponding number with the chalk.

3. Try flashing the same number a different way. Example: first number you flashed was eight, five and three. The second eight you flashed is four and four.

4. Take turns with who fires and who writes.

5. Circle your best numbers.

Playing Fire and Write any age can play

Monday, February 22, 2010

The Family Talk

Use Families to Count to 100!
My son is starting kindergarten in the fall and he loves to count to 100. While counting, he sometimes forgets what "family" comes next. A great way to talk to children about numbers is calling them families and separating them out so they are easy to identify and remember.

The numbers one to nine are the first family or the ones family. The next family is the tens or teens family. This family seems to be the hardest for children because they do not follow the rules of the other families. Often children will confuse a teen with a decade number. An example is the number thirteen which has the number three in it, but we don't say, “Three-teen.” We ignore the first number in the teens unlike all the other families where the first number announces the name of the family, i.e. thirties, forties, etc.. The teens family is fun to make up names for such as the "grumpy family" or "crazy teenagers" to help give a reminder that they follow a different rule.

The rest of the families are straightforward with each family beginning with the decade for that family or as I call it, the families "front door" to that family’s home. Inside their home are all the numbers inside that family. For example, eighty is the front door number for the eighties family and inside their home are all the cute little eighties.

How Do Finger Patterns Link to the Families and Counting to 100?
When my son is getting ready to say the next family and he forgets, for example, the eighties family or says the wrong family, I ask him, "What comes after seven?" He looks at his finger pattern for seven and says, "Eight! Oh, so the eighties family." Sometimes I just flash the family that comes next, so if he is stuck on the eighties I make a nine on my fingers so he knows that the next family is the nineties. Have fun counting and talking about the families!

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Five Ways to Help Your Child Count

Journal of a New Counter: Five Ways to Have Fun Counting

1. Find things to count in a book. My two-year-old loves trains and we read The Little Engine That Could at least twice a day. Now when we read the story we stop and count the trains or animals.
2. Count snack food. Toddlers are snackers and this is one of the best ways to begin counting. Food that is easy to hold, pick up or drop in a cup such as cheerios, crackers and blueberries is best. My son might not be saying the correct number words but he lines all his snacks up in a row and "counts" each thing.
3. Count in the car. Find things to count while in the car. How many wheels are on a big truck? How many people in a car? How many tractors at a construction site? They can find just about anything to count.
4. Look for numbers. Point out numbers while pumping gas, shopping at the grocery store or paying your bill at a restaurant.
5. Play board games and play with cards. My two-year-old is a little young for board games but he sits and watches as I play with my five-year-old. He loves to handle the cards, sort out the game pieces and takes a turn or two for me.